Worth the watch: IRS Tax Workshop

April 7, 2011


What’s just around the corner? Taxes!

However, this year, you’ve decided to check out the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Virtual Tax Workshop (about 9 Videos). It’s a great way to find out about tax regulations and tips for your business, especially if you’re new to the world of business ownership.

In a word, this workshop is amazingly convenient (okay, that’s a few more words, but good ones!). You can view what’s relevant to you, start and stop as you please, and go back when you need a refresher (or when your business grows (and maybe you hire your first employee!) and you need updated advice).

Lessons:

  1. What you need to know about Federal Taxes and your new business
  2. How to set up and run your business so paying taxes isn’t a hassle
  3. How to file and pay your taxes using a computer
  4. What you need to know when you run your business out of your home
  5. How to set up a retirement plan for yourself and our employees
  6. What you need to know about federal taxes when hiring employees/contractors
  7. How to manage payroll so you withhold the right amount from employees
  8. How to make tax deposits and file your payroll taxes using a computer
  9. What you need to know about Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)

Getting to the good stuff:

The first lesson on starting up a new business is full of useful resources, even for those of us who’ve been at things for awhile and just want to make sure we’re on track.

In terms of record-keeping, the IRS recommends that you keep the following documents for tax time:

  • Receipts
  • Sales slips
  • Invoices (handy to pull from FreshBooks!)
  • Bank deposit slips
  • Cancelled checks
  • Other documents to substantiate
  • Income
  • Deductions
  • Credits

It’s important to work out a way to keep organized so that come tax time, you’ll have everything you need to get the job done quickly, and pass on to your tax preparer, if you’re using one (that’s also covered in lesson 1 as well).

One of the most important parts of setting up a business is deciding which form to classify your business under. The webinar goes through each of the forms (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, S corporation, and corporation), the pros and cons of each, giving advice and guidance to business owners.

The other section most relevant to small businesses is Lesson 4: What you need to know when you run your business out of your home, one of the common questions at FreshBooks.

Here are some highlights:

To deduct business expenses in regards to working from home, there are some specific guidelines based on what type of business you are running. To qualify for a deduction of part of your home (or one of the many other deductions), you’ll need to make sure the following points are met:

  • Exclusive
  • Regular
  • For your business
  • Principal place of business
  • Separate structure

Within each section, there are also links to the forms they’re referencing in that section of the video – very convenient (and many of which you can fill out online as well).


about the author

FreshBooks is the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed to make billing painless for small businesses and their teams. Today, over 10 million small businesses use FreshBooks to effortlessly send professional looking invoices, organize expenses and track their billable time.